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HomePoliticsWorldChina patrols combat readiness; US Congress delegates reach Taiwan

China patrols combat readiness; US Congress delegates reach Taiwan

For the past year or more, Taiwan has been complaining of repeated missions by fighter aircraft of China over its sovereign air territory

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has said that its military is conducting a combat readiness patrol in the direction of the Taiwan Strait after its defence ministry condemned a visit to by a US Congressional delegation it said had arrived on a military aircraft.

A Chinese military spokesperson asserted in a statement that the patrol was aimed at the “seriously wrong” words and actions of “relevant countries” on the issue and the activities of pro-independence forces in Taiwan.

Cross-strait tensions have been rising in recent months, with complaining for about a year or more of repeated missions by fighter aircraft of over its skies.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said six Chinese military aircraft, including four J-16 fighter jets and two surveillance planes, had entered its southwestern air defence zone yesterday.

Several media outlets reported yesterday that unspecified members from both the US House of Representatives and Senate had arrived in Taipei on a US military plane.

When asked about the visit, Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters on Wednesday that Taiwan-US relations are “very important” and that he respects “mutual visits between friends”. The government will make an “appropriate arrangement” based on the needs of the two countries, he said, without elaborating.

The American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy in the absence of formal diplomatic ties — there is still confusion in the international community about the status of Taiwan that calls itself the real China — did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

defence ministry said in a statement that members of the US Congress had arrived in Taiwan by military plane. “We firmly oppose and strongly condemn this,” it said.

In Washington, the Pentagon said it was not uncommon for congressional delegations to be transported in military aircraft. 

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby did not provide details on who was on the flight, but said this was the second such congressional trip to Taiwan this year. “It`s not unusual,” Kirby said.

has not ruled out using force to bring Taiwan under its control, despite the island`s claim that it is an independent country that will defend its freedom and democracy.

In June, the defence ministry of denounced a brief weekend visit by three US senators to Taiwan on a US military aircraft, calling it a “vile political provocation” that was irresponsible and dangerous.

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